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Old 04-09-2005, 03:32 PM   #1
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Using frig while in transit

My wife and I are newbies (just bought a new 28' CCD), and we were wondering how you all keep your frozen items frozen while traveling. Our Dometic frig is a 2-way (AC and Gas) so while on the road, we could use the gas but some people say that it is either a bad idea to travel with the gas on or it is against the law - so I guess that option is out. I don't think the AC option will work either. So if you guys are traveling 7-8 hours per day to get to your destination, how do you keep your items in the freezer frozen?

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Old 04-09-2005, 03:48 PM   #2
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Fridge in transit

When we are on the highway, we use our dometic on gas. We have been doing it for years. We are always careful when getting our fuel. We tried forever to keep our food refrigerated without using the gas but it just wouldn't be cold for any length of time.

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Old 04-09-2005, 04:04 PM   #3
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On long hauls we use the gas on. Everything stays cold enough for a 3 hour tour
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Old 04-09-2005, 05:04 PM   #4
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We keep the gas on. When fueling, if the trailer is close to the pumps I'll switch it off. Also, when your hot water heater is on you might want to keep the window closed that is right above the water heater vent. I doubt you'd get any carbon monoxide pulled into the trailer but you could get some moist warmer air coming in.
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Old 04-09-2005, 05:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Pace
When we are on the highway, we use our dometic on gas. We have been doing it for years. We are always careful when getting our fuel. We tried forever to keep our food refrigerated without using the gas but it just wouldn't be cold for any length of time.
Ditto...run on gas while in transit all the time....being careful when fueling.....it's what it's designed to do.....
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Old 04-09-2005, 07:10 PM   #6
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We find that if the freezer is reasonably full, even ice cream will stay frozen without running on gas when traveling for 8 hours, which is about all I want to drive at one time. This is in a 2002 unit with the refrigerator in new condition. As the door seals age, this may not be true. Of course, if you don't have much food in the freezer, it will warm up in less time.
Opening the door along the way will let the cold leak out.
We put frozen bottles of water in the refrigerator to help keep it cold, even if we open it for a soda along the way.
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Old 04-09-2005, 07:28 PM   #7
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I turn off the gas bottles, as per DOT requirements, when travelling and food stays frozen for all the trips we have made, so far.. longest was 9 hours.

We freeze a few of the blue plastic things, the day before, and have some in the fridge and some in the freezer. No problems so far.

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Old 04-09-2005, 07:29 PM   #8
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We stock and turn the refrigerator on using ac 24 hours before we leave. Then we switch to propane. One problem is that the flame will be go out sometimes while towing. We put a wild baffle in front of the burner which helps but strong cross winds still blows it out once in a while. Still we have never lost supplies because of a warm refer. We do turn it off while fueling. We tried using the inverter while towing but between the inverter draw and the refer heating element draw the battery voltage will drop in the 10 volt range and the inverter shuts down. So driving using an inverter for the 120 volt ac is out.
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Old 04-09-2005, 08:11 PM   #9
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Post Refrigerator Efficiency

You might be doing this already. However, the double D-cell refrigerator fans really do help to circulate the cooler air in the refrigerator. These fans typically costs between $15 to $17. I've seen two different types at Wallyworld. The good alkaline batteries will last 4-6 weeks.
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Old 04-09-2005, 08:18 PM   #10
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I solved the problem when I had to replace my fridge last year.
I don't drive with the LP on and I do not use the AC with an inverter.
I have a three-way fridge. I put it on 12V and go. When I stop for any amount if time I will shut it off so it doesn't wear down the battery in the trailer or the two vehicle.
I usually do not stop for anything more than gas.
My three-way fridge was $400 for the Minuet.
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Old 04-09-2005, 08:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Theo
I turn off the gas bottles, as per DOT requirements, when travelling ...
Theo
I went to the Fed DOT site and tried to find the regulation you mention here and could not locate it. I travel with the fridge on gas except in our previous trailer that had 3-way operation (ac, dc, & gas. During transport precaution is a must while fueling & in 'posted' tunnels, but I would like to know if there is a specific requirement or is this 'word-of-mouth'.
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Old 04-09-2005, 09:44 PM   #12
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There are some tunnels & bridges that have signs stating “no propane”. I take that to mean turn the propane off in the tunnel.
One that comes to mind is I-10, Mobile, AL & I know there are others but can’t remember.
I travel with the propane “on” and turn off at gas stations.

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Old 04-09-2005, 11:51 PM   #13
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Using frig while in transit

Having Murphy of Murphy's Law fame as a constant traveling companion, convinced me more than two decades ago that it wasn't worth the risk to travel with the refirgerator running on LP -- Turning off the LP valves is on my pre-departure checklist of things that must be done (all of my previous Brand X coaches had 3-way Dometic Refrigerators and I never had any problems with any of them).

Just in the last ten years with the Overlander, I have towed through two accident areas where in excess of 100 gallons of gasoline had been spilled by ruptured fuel tanks on vehicles involved in the crash <the fire department had performed cleanup on the spill, but the smell of gasoline was very heavy in the air> (I was glad that I didn't have to get out of the tow vehicle to turn off the LP); and probably much more dangerous than that, I have had multiple (four at last count) experiences with fuel delivery hoses rupturing while refilling the tank on my Suburban -- the scariest was filling at the auto pumps of a truck stop that didn't have a clearly marked emergency cut-off for the pumps -- the fuel delivery hose ruptured spilling in excess of 100 gallons before the attendant could get the pump turned off (again, my LP tank valves were in the off position so I didn't have to worry about appliances).

A previous owner of my Overlander had removed the Dometic RV refrigerator replaced it with a 120-Volt AC refrigerator -- it was replaced with my favorite Dometic 3-Way refrigerator/freezer and it has performed flawlessly for the past five seasons (it has probably been run on LP less than 5 hours as I either us the 12-Volt DC or 120 Volt AC settings).

My Minuet still has the original Dometic 2-way refrigerator and turning it off prior to departure is on my list of "must do" chores. Prior to departure from home, I thoroughly cool the unit on the 120-Volt AC setting and always try to keep the refrigerator and freezer compartments filled to at least 75% of capacity. I try to never place any foods in the refrigerator that haven't been pre-chilled less than six hours before departure from home or campground. The thermostat is set to keep the refrigerator just very slightly above freezing, and even after five to six hours on the road in the Southern Midwest during the summer the temperature is still in the safe range on a refrigerator thermometer. I would still like to have a 3-way model -- and will when the original in my Minuet fails.

I know that there are many who have towed for years with refrigerators in operation, my experience has been that it is not worth the risk (IMHO). The original owners of my Overlander who were friends' of my family never towed with the refrigerator in operation (they had experiences with LP and natural gas paralleling mine) -- one of the last steps in their pre-departure routine was to turn off the LP gas valves so I know that its refrigerator was always turned off for travel from 1964 - 1980 (when they retired from traveling); and again from when I purchased the coach in 1995 until the present.

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Old 04-10-2005, 12:23 AM   #14
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We always run the 3-way on 12v when travelling. Works just fine. I will pre-cool everything in the fridge on 120 a day before leaving if possible. LP only comes on if we are somewhere for the night without power.

It just isn't worth the risk to run LP while travelling.

Do the newer coaches only come with 2 way fridges now?
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Old 04-10-2005, 10:13 AM   #15
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newer coaches...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferroequine
We always run the 3-way on 12v when travelling. Works just fine. I will pre-cool everything in the fridge on 120 a day before leaving if possible. LP only comes on if we are somewhere for the night without power.

It just isn't worth the risk to run LP while travelling.

Do the newer coaches only come with 2 way fridges now?
My 2005 only has a two way fridge. Our SOB had a three way and we ran it on 12volt. Have run the fridge on gas now and hasn't blown out the pilot. I turn off for gas pumps. The Airstream manual says to do that so I assume it is not a wrong choice.

As to risk, I started thinking, don't I have two "hydrogen" bombs under the couch anyway? (aka batteries)
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Old 04-10-2005, 04:24 PM   #16
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Thanks everyone!

After reading a few threads from those who have a 3-way frig, I wish I had one. However that wasn't an option for the 2005 28' CCD. I guess the best we can do is fire up the gas with our 2-way and practice good safety by turning off the frig when we gas up at the pump. Again....thanks for the good advice. This forum is great.

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Old 04-10-2005, 05:45 PM   #17
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First, have a plan that includes thinking in advance where you might need to re-fuel. We leave fridge on if: 1) the gas station we pull into is not crowded with other vehicles, and 2) this is important: that the fill side of the tow vehicle is oposite of the side your fridge is on. This will minimise a conflict between flame and gas.

Given that, to error on the safe side, if you anticipate needing fuel, pull off the road a few miles before service station and shut down propane fridge.

Get your gas, drive a away, restart fridge.

What is the safest way? Probablly the last three of my sentences.

If your marriage is on the rocks, then make sure you pull into a highly crowded gas station, fridge on same side as gas filler, light a giant exploding cigar, and hope to see relatives you haven't seen in a long time in your after life....

Another thing we do: our trailer is 32 miles from our house. so we transport perishables in those foil insulated bags, you can get from target, walmart, etc. In our freezer at home, we have three Coleman Brite Ice thingies that we put in those freezer bags to keep our crap cool till we get to the AS. Once at the AS, we turn on the gas for the fridge. It takes a good few hours for the fridge and freezer to cool down, so this is where we put those coleman brite Ice things in to sort of give the cooler a head start.

Most importantly, do what feels comfortable to you. Lots of great advice here.

Love and kisses.

Jonathan
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Old 04-10-2005, 08:24 PM   #18
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I have not found the DOT reg online, but it is here, in my DOT handbook... No propane appliance to be operated when the vehicle is in motion... including but not limited to Recreational Vehicles.

The handbook is as issued to DOT inspectors in Colorado and Wyoming, dated 2001
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Old 04-10-2005, 10:33 PM   #19
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We never travel with our refrigerator on. Why take a chance?

When we get to our destination we start it up. All of our food stays cold and freezer keeps ice cream frozen while it is off and doors closed.
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Old 04-11-2005, 05:14 AM   #20
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i run my fridge all the time when travelling, i suppose if i wanted to get fancy about the issue i could wire up the unused interupt circuit. most modern dometics have it built in.

the circuit is supposed to shut the fridge down for 30 min when the ignition circuit is turned off. must be for motorhome applications.

i just find it easier to shut it off manually before refueling.

obviously, the presence of this circuit means that the manufacturer planned on the fridge being used in motion! why else have it there?

to each his own on this subject, just do what you are comfortable and insured for!!

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